April 24 - 29
Monday, April 24 – “David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.” (2 Samuel 12:16) King David messed up and was called out by Nathan. He committed adultery and murder. The result was a baby. In response, David made the choice to fast and pray in mourning over his actions and decisions. How about you? Are you being called out right now, because of something that you have done? Have you ever considered fasting? The goal is to bring you closer to God, by mourning over your actions or decisions.
Tuesday, April 25 – “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4) This is Nehemiah’s response to hearing about the tough times that the Jewish remnant were experiencing in Jerusalem. In response to his broken heart, he fasted and prayed. How about you? Have you received some bad news about someone or something, that has really hit home? Are you being called right now to do something, but you just don’t know what to do? Have you ever considered fasting? The goal is to bring you closer to God, so that you can make requests for others.
Wednesday, April 26 – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5) Are you having a tough time right now? Are you struggling? Do you find today’s verse foreign to you and your experience? Does it seem that God has abandoned you? Have you ever considered fasting? Maybe the reason that God seems so distant is that you have moved away? Fasting will bring you closer to God. The goal of fasting is to bring you closer to God, so that you can experience God taking care of you. Even in the midst of your struggles.
Thursday, April 27 – “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6) Just like prayer, fasting is something that you do privately. When you fast, don’t make a show out of it. Don’t look like you are fasting. Don’t complain about missing that which you are fasting from. And don’t tell everyone that you are fasting. For if you do, you just might start receiving praise from others, because of your fasting. This praise will quickly become your motivation for fasting. Which will totally defeat the whole purpose of fasting.
Friday, April 28 – “Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast. A day acceptable to the Lord? (Isaiah 58:5) Be aware that you don’t start fasting as a ritualistic, religious practice. Something that is done at a certain time, in certain way, by certain people. Fast because you want to grow closer to God. Fast because you have a hole in your life, that you can’t fill on your own. Fast because you are mourning over your sin or the sins around you. Fast, not to check a religious box, but to open your life up to real, lasting transformation.
Saturday, April 29 – “Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” (Joel 2:12) This is what God wants. God wants you to return to him. A spiritual homecoming, so to speak. God will never leave you nor forsake you. But you will periodically leave God, in the course of life. No judgment. No condemnation. We all do it. The question is what will you do about it? Fasting is a part of the life of a follower of Jesus. Do you need to fast every week? Do you need to fast every month? Do you need to fast during Lent? Or do you simply need to fast whenever you realize that you and God just aren’t as tight anymore?